I. Love. S’mores. I really do. They make me feel like a kid, a kid on a camping trip.
I’ve never been on a camping trip so s’mores are the closest thing to camping as I get.
Know what makes s’mores even better? Homemade marshmallows!!
Plus, wrap em up in some adorable baggies and give them as gifts with homemade hot cocoa mix and you have a FAB gift. And you might even be greeted with the same reactions that I’ve been greeted with which include, but are not limited to:
“You can make MARSHMALLOWS?!?”
“These are like fluffy little clouds!”
“Ok, you can make marshmallows… you REALLY need to open up your own shop”
“…wait… you can make MARSHMALLOWS?!?”
Day 20 of my extravaganza and it’s almost coming to an end. Don’t fret my lovelies, because these fluffy-as-a-pillow marshies are sure to put a smile on your face!!
Marshmallows have been on my mental ‘to make’ list for a while now but I was put off by the fact that A) they were messy and B) they could go seriously wrong. I’m talking goopy, sludgy, slimy wrong. But I conquered my fears and I learned a few things along the way. Things I will now share with you:
1) Do NOT store them in the fridge to set up. Unless you like slimy goop. Ick.
2) Dust the HECK out of your pan. You’ll thank yourself later.
3) When it says to use a medium saucepan, USE A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN! A small one won’t cut it. My stove and I learned that the hard way.
3) Lastly and perhaps the most important thing I learned was that if it’s not messy, you’re doing it wrong.
So, get your MEDIUM saucepan, your baking sheet and let’s get to making some of the most incredible marshmallows. Store bought ones pale in comparison to these.
Honey Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
adapted from Joy The Baker
makes about 2 dozen marshmallows
1 cup cold water, divided
3 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
half of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and reserved
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and powdered sugar. Spray a 9×13×2-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat with the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. Set both aside.
Pour 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment. Pour the three gelatin packs over the cold water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, salt and the remaining cold water to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer the the side of the pan and bring mixture up to 240 degrees F. There’s no need to stir the mixture, just let it get hot hot hot!
When the sugar is heated to 240 degrees F, turn the mixer with the gelatin and water on low speed. Carefully stream the hot sugar mixture into the bowl and the whisk moves. Be careful onto to pour into the whisk and spatter the hot sugar all over the sides of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until you’ve added all of the hot sugar mixture. Beat on high for several minutes until a thick, fluffy, white marshmallow batter has formed… about 8 minutes. Pour in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean and beat for another 2 minutes.
Spread the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan and smooth with a clean, wet spatula to prevent sticking. Top marshmallow with corn starch and powdered sugar mixture and let set and rest for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When set, remove marshmallow from the pan and place on a large cutting board coated with cornstarch and powdered sugar, Use a pizza cutter, coated with non-stick cooking spray to slice marshmallows. Once sliced, toss the cut marshmallows in the cornstarch and powdered sugar and store in an airtight container for up to one week.
For extra holiday flair: Use a butter knife and dip it into red gel food coloring and swirl gently into your marshmallow fluff (right after you’ve put it into the pan).
Optional: melt some bittersweet chocolate and dip half a marshmallow into the chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies or graham crackers. Let them set up, wrap em and tie them with a pretty bow and give as gifts!!
Shipping Safe: YES! Put em in baggies and let em go!!
DO NOT FREEZE. I haven’t tried this myself but something tells me that the texture would be compromised and after they thaw, they’d be mushy and gross. Just a guess though.